melanie pastuck photography

Yes. This is a blog post about chicken and bread. Could be rather simple and bland but these were both HOMEMADE. Touched by my hands. Watched by my eyes. Gently presented to my family. There’s been lots of days where gentle presentation of anything seemed to go by the wayside. Commitments to work and photography and parenting and life can sweep gentle moments can do that sometimes.

It feels wrong to not have gentle moments. I didn’t even notice that some of them were missing or were missed. In my efforts to be all that I am, I forgot a bit about who and what I am.

So last night (this last week really) has been about bringing myself back to this. The roast chicken and bread helped. As did three good conversations with those that could see what I was missing.

So, as we all readjust to the fall and the changing of the seasons yet again, take some time to roast your own chicken… and actually bake some bread – it is SO easy. No bread machine required. You actually don’t even need a stand mixer.


P.S. roast some beets while you are at it. The oven is on anyways 😉

mpp_9080mpp_9090mpp_9078mpp_9091The best place to buy the most beautiful and tasty chickens is Country Lane Farms  (tell them that I sent you)

Best roast chicken recipe (I modify it to whatever I have on hand to stuff in it and don’t often put the carrots / fennel under it) is from Ina Garten in her Barefoot Contessa cookbook but you can find it here.

Best homemade bread recipe comes from the amazing Julia Child via Dinner with Julie


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“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

It’s been an emotional, up and down kind of week. I do find solace in this little space though. I sit here quite a bit, surrounded by my journal, a cup of coffee, a snack (I admit I had left over coconut rice and green curry for breakfast – how could I not?), and two dogs and probably two kids. Sometimes I edit here. Sometimes I get the rare opportunity to nap here.

But mostly I look out my window and look at the three mountain tops I can see in the distance and I breathe.

My world is too full to talk about. But it is mine.

If you need a place to breathe because your world is also too full, the other end of my couch is open. Finley will share.

I’ll leave you with one more poem by Rumi –

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,



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Climb the mountains & get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.‘ – John Muir

Oh the pull of the mountains… aren’t they amazing? One of the real privileges of living in Cochrane means I get to see them everyday – for being so close though, I don’t spend near enough time in them. So quiet, so big, and the fresh air… so good.

So I’m super grateful for couples like Krystal & Matthew (and Alysha & Curtis, and Amy & Rick, and Ashley & James) that have their engagements and weddings in this beautiful place I call home.

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For a few days now, I’ve been chatting about the beautiful workspace photos / food photos / etc that are so very popular on social media. I love the idea of these creative shoots with their gorgeous details and style. Those of you that have been to my house know that gorgeous detail and style may not quite be me! haha! It’s so true. Welcome to Mel’s Cluttered Kitchen – I had the idea to open a home studio and call it that. I’m a self-proclaimed piler of things. Feels so good. So today when I saw that Clickin Moms photo cue of the day was ‘work’ I had this inspiration, first, to clean up my space and style it but then I sat back in my pink velvet chair (from a boudoir session way back) at my kitchen table (aka office) and loved what I was looking at. My coffee, Lukas’ succulents he planted in a rubbermaid container at school, my candles, my favourite oils, crayons, bills, my favourite daytimer and the light coming in through my big kitchen windows and thought to myself – it’s PERFECT. Perfect for me and if you come over, and I hope you do, you will feel super comfortable and relaxed because my perfection is super real and authentic and possibly a bit dusty. I couldn’t ask for better.


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